Diet pills are expected to decrease or manage an individual’s weight. Medically, diet pills, often referred to as “anti-obesity drugs”, are prescribed only to morbidly obese individuals who require life-rescue through weight loss.
Suppression of appetite, heightening of the body’s metabolism, and interruption of the body’s assimilation of particular nutrients in food, are the primary effects of diet pills. Reducing intestinal fat absorption by blocking pancreatic lipase is how Orlistat (also known as Xenical) prevents fat from incorporation into the body. Anorectics are expected to suppress the appetite but also act as a stimulant (like Dexedrine), and are susceptible to off-label abuse. However, if diet and exercise are unsuccessful, prescription diet pills with active stimulants are recommended for short-term usage only.
Popular Weight Loss Pills Used to Treat Obesity
*Permitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for over-the-counter retail in February 2007, Orlistat may cause irregular bowel movements unless the individual’s fat in their diet is reduced.
*Sibutramine (Meridia or Reductil) acts as an appetite suppressant and the side effects include: increased blood pressure, cotton mouth, constipation, insomnia and headaches.
*Injected at mealtimes, Symlin has been approved for obese individuals who suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, but it must be combined with insulin.
*Amylin delays gastric dumping and tricks an individual into feeling satiated.
Since many are un-researched, or are unapproved by the FDA, weight loss diet pills advertised on the Internet and TV should be avoided because of unsubstantiated effectiveness. Though not fully studied and scientifically recognized, pyruvate, which is found in red apples, cheese, and red wine, is a popularly accepted product aiding small weight loss.
Split into two categories, diet pills can be prescribed by a medical physician or over-the-counter (OTC) and found in grocery stores, health food stores, and pharmacies.
Weight loss pills, usually classified under “food supplements” are generally unregulated, and have not been approved by the FDA. Therefore are not obligated to have the same strict labeling, advertising, and dosage as prescription diet pills. In her recent book, Fat: Exploding the Myths, Lisa Colles concludes that Americans are estimated to have spent $30-$50 billion every year on weight loss programs and diet pills, $6 billion of which was wasted on fraudulent products and pills. Although claiming to be all natural, herbal diet pills have not been thoroughly tested by the FDA, and act similar to OTC pills in stimulating the central nervous system.
Diet pill abuse is common because of the accessibly of over-the-counter weight loss supplements, and the habit-forming, largely unregulated stimulants used to speed up the metabolism found within the ingredients. Meant for obese individuals, diet pills do not function properly in individuals weighing slightly above or below average.
The side effects of abusing diet pills include:
*High blood pressure
*Irregular bowel movements
*Loss of libido
*Congestive heart failure
Help can be sought through rehabilitation programs that specialize in eating disorders and stimulant addiction, support groups (Over Eaters Anonymous) and a health care physician.
Before deciding to use diet pills it is advised to discuss weight loss programs with your doctor and ask to be medically examined. A patient should ask about all weight loss options available, explain your medical history and current medications (if any), discuss the side effects, and schedule a follow up appointment to check how the prescribed diet pills are working.